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Sounds of Silence

Andrea G. Schwartz
  • Andrea G. Schwartz,
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Laryngitis has its upsides and downsides. I learned to appreciate both. My laryngitis occurred as a result of the heavy smoke covering most of California due to hundreds of forest fires. I never knew whether or not any sound would come out of my mouth when I attempted to speak. Each attempt at vocalization was filled with surprise. More often than not, all I was capable of were breathy sounds of silence.

Some reflections:

1. A sixteen-year-old daughter who has been homeschooled all her life makes an excellent personal secretary. Her skill in making phone calls, setting up appointments, ordering in restaurants, and obtaining much needed directions demonstrated that her education has produced excellent results.

2. At the end of the day, the same sixteen-year-old is glad her mother is going to sleep and the translator duties are on hold until morning.

3. I realize how much I use my voice in any given day, and how much of what I say could just as well remain unsaid.

4. It is totally unnecessary to carry a cell phone when you cannot speak. If you make the mistake of answering it or making a call, people hang up figuring there was a bad connection or you are a prank call.

5. With enough mental intention to compensate for a total lack of sound, “yelling” across a parking lot can still cause your daughter to turn around, figuring you were calling her.

6. When you whisper, many people tend to whisper back to you. They have no idea why.

7. People who don’t respond in a whisper tend to speak in a louder voice than normal. I kept telling them that the problem was with my voice, not my ears. They also think you can’t carry heavy things!

8. Many people don’t know what laryngitis is. When I explained to a waitress that I couldn’t talk because of laryngitis, she assured me she wasn’t prejudiced and had no problem seating me.

9. A husband with some hearing impairment and a wife who can’t utter a sound are an amusing combination. Rather than the blind leading the blind, we were the deaf leading the mute.

10. Many people laugh when you tell them you have lost your voice. And, they don’t explain the reaction.

11. Thinking before you speak becomes more of a habit.

12. Despite all the lessons learned from my week of silence, I’m glad to have a voice once again to lift up and praise the Lord.